Who we are
We are members of the Cree Nation of Eeyou Istchee, northern Quebec, Canada. Our community, Whapmagoostui, is situated at the mouth of the Great Whale River on the east coast of Hudson Bay. We share our community equally with the Inuit of Kuujjuarapik (the Inuit name for the community), making our community unique in Canada.
Like all Indigenous communities in Canada, we struggle with many health, social and socioeconomic issues. As a result of colonization, in the last one hundred years or so, the strength of our cultural beliefs, values, customs, traditions and spiritual ways have somewhat waned. Today, we face internalized colonization – lateral violence, abuse of all forms, addictions and many other difficult issues tending to control our lives. Many of us have embarked on a healing journey to reclaim our culture and spirituality. On that healing journey, the Sundance came to us twenty years ago as of writing this information (2023), and we brought it home. Those who wished to follow the Sundance Way came to dance, and many have gained personal strength from living the Sundance way.
The Sundance Way involves a commitment to live a healthy lifestyle with the knowledge and wisdom of the Ancestors as guidance.
What we do
Our mission is to improve the overall health and well-being of our people. In order to do this, we must heal from past wounds, overcome difficult health and social issues, and empower ourselves so that we can build a bright future for our youth and those yet to come. The Sundance is where we receive empowerment and guidance to achieve our mission.
We seek to regain our Ancestors’ knowledge of Medicine (land-based, animal-based, and spiritual) and healing methods. Also, we encourage people to live by the beliefs and value system that has been handed down by our Ancestors.
We have healers (traditional, certified) who provide one-on-one counselling sessions, group therapy sessions, healing workshops, circles (healing, talking and others), and various ceremonies.
Our Vision & Mission
We envision a community in which every child grows up to know and embrace their true identity, language, culture, ancestral way of life, history and heritage, and is taught a way to find their life’s purpose and gifts. A community that speaks the Eeyou language well, and actively practices Eeyou culture and a land-based way of life.
Our mission is to heal ourselves to help build the future of our youth and generations to come, a world in which everyone walks in balance, with the aim to help reestablish peace and harmony throughout the world.
Our Core Values
The following are the core values our Elders instruct us to apply in life at all times. During the Sundance, we encourage all Sundancers and participants to follow them to the heart at all times.
COURAGE: No matter how difficult situations may get (for dancers and staff alike), remember the reason you’re here: to improve your health & well-being and that of your family, your community, the world’s human family, and Mother Earth. As such, you must make all possible efforts to overcome with courage all difficult situations, in whatever form they may present themselves.
HONESTY: Be honest at all times with others and with yourself.
HUMILITY: Be humble to others at all times (applies to every dancer and participant of the Sundance).
COMPASSION: Show compassion to everyone around you, and offer help where needed.
RESPECT: Show respect to others at all times, particularly to the elders.
SHARING: Share the best values, beliefs and wisdom of Eeyou culture that you know with those seeking to heal their lives and live a healthy lifestyle.
WISDOM: You’re here to seek knowledge from the Elders; how you use that knowledge is wisdom. The wisdom our Elders share will carry you throughout your lifetime. It will teach you how to become the best human being you can be for the benefit of others. Use it well.